Ferrari execs go passive-aggressive at Paris motor show.
Outgoing Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo took part in his final motor show with the company Thursday, doing so with his successor Sergio Marchionne in Paris.
He was showing off the Ferrari 458 Speciale A and also took questions from attending journalists, who were treated with some commedia dell'arte from both Montezemolo and Marchionne.
Marchionne will realize he already has too much to do and will call me to come back. I’m happy to have a few months off between now and then.
Luca di Montezemolo
The body language between the two could only be described as awkward elegance as they talked about the Ferrari F1 struggles in front of one another. There was some playful bashing and indirect shots fired at the other during the Q&A.
Discussing Ferrari's troublesome F1 season
Marchionne spoke first and discussed the lack of performance from the Ferraris in 2014, saying "When I go to Monza and I see the first six cars on the grid are not Ferrari, my blood pressure pops. Non-winning Ferraris on a race track is not just bad luck ... We’ve got to kick some ass on the track and we’ve got to do it quickly.”
Montezemolo took a friendly jab at Marchionne, saying "Between now and February, Marchionne will realize he already has too much to do and will call me to come back. I’m happy to have a few months off between now and then.” Marchionne did not smile.
In response to why the man hand-picked by Enzo is walking away, Montezemolo told reports, "I could explain, but after 23 years, when you are confronted with a new era, It is time to leave." Marchionne called some of rumors circulating as 'bull****.'
Marchionne not amused
There was an awkward moment when Montezemolo accidentally misspoke and said 'Ferrari Chrysler,' confusing what he meant to say with the new name Fiat will take on later this month (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). He laughed off the error, adding "maybe that’s what it will be in 40 years.” Marchionne was less than amused at the blunder.
The Ferrari torch is being passed, but I would not make the erroneous mistake of identifying these two as mentor and prodigy ... Or even friendly at that.